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Article
October 1974

Shave Biopsies for Cutaneous Lesions

Arch Dermatol. 1974;110(4):637. doi:10.1001/archderm.1974.01630100085028

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Abstract

To the Editor.—  The biopsy procedure most often advocated for obtaining specimens for histologic examination of cutaneous lesions is one in which a vertical incision into the skin is made with a punch or scalpel. An alternate method, which in our hands has proven very useful, is the shave biopsy in which the specimen is taken almost parallel to the surface of the skin in a horizontal plane. We think this procedure has distinct advantages for certain lesions.

Method.—  Following suitable local anesthesia, the skin is either stretched between the index finger and thumb, in case the lesion is elevated, or the tissues can be squeezed together to throw them up in a broad fold in case the lesion in macular. After rendering the skin relatively immobile by these manipulations, the operator uses a #15 scalpel blade (or Beaver #67 blade for relatively inaccessible locations) to remove the specimen by

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